This morning when my friend asked for prayers in dealing with negativity I recognized my own need immediately. I offer a practice and a prayer.
Practice To Release Negative Energy
Once settled in a comfortable position (lying on my back works well for me), ground yourself with breathing.
When focused, begin the ritual of releasing negative energy embedded in your aura, your brain, anywhere in your energy field where it tends to get stuck. Imagine using your hands to unravel and pull out the pieces of negative energy, sending each one down your spine, and into the ground where it can be reconstituted… recycled for the good, if you will. Accompany the release with the words, “Releasing this unwanted negative energy….sending it down to the earth.”
When finished, take the time you need to let welcome, positive energy to settle in. Follow the ritual with a physical cleansing with water, sage, or incense.
A Prayer For These
Photo Credit: Cathedral of light | vivid sydney 2016
Rep. John Lewis (1940-2020)
Rest with Honor
Rest in Peace
America can only be saved by those
Who have the dexterity
To bless while they bleed
Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III
In Gratitude for Rep. John Lewis
Like a slave hound
Tracking and attacking
Trailing trauma in its wake.
He blessed while he bled.
He blessed while he bled.
He fought the hound
And astonishingly, he forgave.
He always forgave.
c. Rita H Kowats 7-18-2020
Enrich yourself with Rev. Moss’s sermon about blessing while bleeding:
The Cross and the Lynching Tree:
A Requiem for Ahmad Arbery
Photo Credit: biography.com
This poem came from meditation at a time when conditions in our world weighed heavily on me. LOL! If only I had known the conditions we endure in this moment! It feels like the time to revisit the poem. We seek to tame the current of fear that rushes over imposing boulders springing up in our unconscious. So we flex our intellectual prowess in countless monologues across social media, in offices, living rooms and backyard gatherings. We seek to blame and fix. In our love for justice we can continue our self-assigned role as “The Great White Fixers,” or we can practice waiting, listening more intentionally for the words of the oppressed.
We must act for justice, AND there is this from James Baldwin:
The root of the black man’s hatred is rage,
and he does not so much hate the white man
as simply as wants them out of his way,
and, more than that,
out of his children’s way.
James Baldwin I Am Not Your Negro
I hear my rapid thought-fire
Ricochet off your heart,
Creating a wall of words to
Keep me safe.
Wait for the space
Between the thoughts
Between the words.
In the Space Between
c. Rita H Kowats 7-18-2013
When the well goes dry, listen.
Sit by it, your ear pressed to its rim.
Hear the empty and the hollow of it.
Let be. Let be.
When finally you hear your breath
echo back to you,
let this sound be your first prayer.
Where there is breath,
there is water somewhere.
In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Reflection & Prayer
Photo Credit: http://www.zdrillerteam.com/is-your-water-well-going-dry-5-common-warning-signs/
The virtue of patience often eludes me. Today I am longing to return to the swimming pool in the worst way. The confines of covid don’t bother me, nor do long periods alone, because it is my intentional lifestyle. But my poor old body can barely wait to get back to the pool.
A meditation on I Ching 5 hexagram this morning is helpful, especially this line:
It is only through patience that you can
become the bridge between the fickle fish
and the eventual feast.
I send you the gift of graceful waiting today.
The Great Blue Heron
Lurches from side to side
Scouting succulent salmon
Twitching in the tide.
Settling on a spot in which to spy
She turns her head sideways
To see salmon swimming.
In my dotage
I too lurch from leg to cane to leg,
Longing for the feast, but missing it,
Too intent upon ego offerings
That clamor for attention.
The wait is too long;
“Succulent salmon, slither hither!”
c. Rita H Kowats 5-28-18, revised 7-7-20
Photo Credit: Photo by Hilary Halliwell from Pexels
Clay gods house clay souls
In heroes lauded on high.
Crumble and Scatter.
May this blessing from Jan Richardson console us as we wrestle with so much these days.
Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. —Genesis 32:24
If this blessing were easy, anyone could claim it.
As it is, I am here to tell you that it will take some work.
This is the blessing that visits you
in the struggling,
in the wrestling,
in the striving.
This is the blessing that comes
after you have left everything behind,
after you have stepped out,
after you have crossed into that realm
beyond every landmark you have known.
This is the blessing that takes all night to find.
It’s not that this blessing is so difficult,
as if it were not filled with grace
or with the love that lives in every line.
It’s simply that it requires you to want it,
to ask for it, to place yourself in its path.
It demands that you stand to meet it when it arrives,
that you stretch yourself in ways
you didn’t know you could move,
that you agree to not give up.
So when this blessing comes,
borne in the hands of the difficult angel who has chosen you, do not let go. Give yourself into its grip.
It will wound you, but I tell you there will come a day
when what felt to you like limping
was something more like dancing
as you moved into the cadence
of your new and blessed name.
Jan Richardson in The Cure For Sorrow: A Book Of Blessings In Times Of Grief
Recently I wrote that one “Celtic tradition holds that some persons are themselves a “thin place.” I know these persons to be the true deep listeners among us. We come away from an encounter with them knowing that we have been seen, knowing that we are known.” I offer another pondering of this piece posted three years ago. We needed to be clean well lighted places for one another then. We need to be now, more than ever.
It is time to revisit Ernest Hemingway’s poignant masterpiece, “A Clean Well Lighted Place.” It is a short story about a cafe which shelters the lonely and distraught, affording them safe harbor for a few hours. A clean well lighted place where one can feel at home. A place where “everyone knows your name.”
An older waiter is convinced that all is “nada,” nothing, meaningless and that his elderly customer is there to push the nothingness away for a while because “This is a clean and pleasant cafe. It is well lighted. The light is very good and also, now, there are shadows of the leaves.”
Isn’t that all each of us desires, to sit with someone in the light when “nada” starts closing in? Let’s do that for one another when we feel hopeless, when panic pushes up from our gut threatening to take over our lives. Be that clean well lighted place, a safe haven for one another.
An old codger on a bar stool
Spins victory vignettes.
He sways in sync
With the melodies of stories
That play in his head,
Hoping for a listener to relieve him
Of the nothingness that calls him
To the warmth of the cafe.
RIta H Kowats 1-27-2017
Photo Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/light-road-nature-night-1163/
Hand tucked casually in pocket
While knee on neck snuffs out
The breath of another human being.
Just business as usual
In the neighborhood.
The spiritual life is not
A casual meandering
Down a safe garden path.
Our path must diverge into acts of justice
Lest the spiritual life become self-serving.
Take your hand out of your pocket.
c. rita h kowats 6-2-20
Photo Credit: Facebook/Darnella Frazier/AFP via Getty Images in the NY Post